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Jo Dale Carothers is a shareholder and chair of Weintraub Tobin’s Intellectual Property group. She is an intellectual property litigator and registered patent attorney, who advises clients on a wide range of issues related to patents, trade secrets, trademarks, and copyrights. Her practice emphasizes intellectual property litigation, licensing, prosecution, contract disputes, and issues related to proceedings before the USPTO.

Copyright protection automatically attaches to a work when it is created. Specifically, copyright protection attaches to the original, creative work when it is fixed in a tangible medium, such as when it is written, drawn, recorded digitally, or typed electronically. Copyright law “protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture.” It also protects images, photos, videos, and other written work, such as blog posts.  See here.
Continue Reading Tips for Avoiding Copyright Infringement

Most patent claims describe an invention using positive claim limitations that expressly recite the required elements or features of an invention. Sometimes, however, it is necessary, or desirable, to use a negative claim limitation to expressly specify an invention requires the absence of an element or feature. But when is it allowable to claim the negative?
Continue Reading When Can a Patent Claim Positively Include the Negative?

The recent opportunities for remote work and learning have provided improvements in lifestyle for a number of employees and students. Many of those able to work or study from home have benefited from more flexible schedules, reduction in time and money spent on commuting, reduction in work- and school-related stress, and more family time. But those benefits have come with some new challenges. For example, professors and teachers have confronted the challenge of how to prevent students from cheating on exams. When standard approaches failed, a business professor recently turned to copyright law, hoping for a solution.
Continue Reading Can Copyright Law Prevent Cheating on Exams?

When entering into contracts, parties commonly include forum selection clauses to govern future litigation between the parties. When doing so, parties need to actively consider whether they intend that forum selection clause to prohibit filing petitions, such as petitions for inter partes review of patents, with the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”). The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has generally recognized that parties can bargain away these rights, including through forum selection clauses in contracts. This issue recently arose in Nippon Shinyaku v. Sarepta.
Continue Reading Be Careful Not to Unintentionally Bargain Away the Right to File IPRs